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Archive for September, 2011

Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit Countdown: All Notable Nonprofits

September 26th, 2011

The 9 at-risk youth advocacy nonprofits included on this list only cover a portion of the great organizations working to affect the lives of children. View our entire list of expert-identified at-risk youth nonprofits in the United States here: and dig deeper to review what experts had to say about each organization. These organizations are transforming the lives of thousands of children and young adults nationwide, so please consider donating to them to show your support. You can feel confident that your donation is going to support an outstanding group of nonprofits making a real impact in communities across the nation.


Big Brothers Big Sisters Association: #1 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 23rd, 2011

Today, we are excited to present the final expert-identified at-risk youth nonprofit. This nonprofit was evaluated by a number of experts and they overwhelmingly agreed that this organization is one of the most impactful groups advocating for at-risk youth in America.

We recognize the #1 at-risk youth advocacy nonprofit: Big Brothers Big Sisters Association.

Big Brothers Big Sisters Association has been providing mentoring support to children for many years and is one of the only organizations to have operating offices in each of the fifty states, find out more about Big Brothers Big Sisters by reading below.

For over a century, Big Brothers Big Sisters has been helping change kids’ perspectives and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential. And we have over a century of volunteers, donors, and advocates just like you to thank.

It all started in 1904, when a young New York City court clerk named Ernest Coulter was seeing more and more boys come through his courtroom. He recognized that caring adults could help many of these kids stay out of trouble, and he set out to find volunteers. That marked the beginning of the Big Brothers movement.

At around the same time, the members of a group called Ladies of Charity were befriending girls who had come through the New York Children’s Court. That group would later become Catholic Big Sisters.

Both groups continued to work independently until 1977, when Big Brothers Association and Big Sisters International joined forces and became Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

More than 100 years later, Big Brothers Big Sisters remains true to our founders’ vision of bringing caring role models into the lives of children. And, today, Big Brothers Big Sisters currently operates in all 50 states—and in 12 countries around the world.

(Learn more at:

Big Brothers Big Sisters of America has been praised for its strong programs and effective model. According to the experts that identified this nonprofit, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America’s long-term mentor model has been shown to create lasting, positive impacts on youth involved, including increases in confidence, achievement in school, and better future prospects when implemented correctly. Read more expert reviews here to learn more about the great work of Big Brothers Big Sisters of America.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA): #2 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 22nd, 2011

Rated as the #2 nonprofit, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has continuously provided mentoring support for at-risk youth to promote life skills development. This organization has been active for over a century and has significantly affected the lives of youth across the US, learn more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s work and history by reading below.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America had its beginnings in 1860 with three women in Hartford, Conn.:  Mary Goodwin, Alice Goodwin and Elizabeth Hammersley. Believing that boys who roamed the streets should have a positive alternative, they organized the first Club. A cause was born. Character development has been the cornerstone of the Boys & Girls Club experience since the first Club opened in 1860. The first Club professional, John Collins, devised a system of informal guidance to attract boys into the Club, capture their interest, improve their behavior and increase their personal expectations and goals.

The procedures Collins used constituted a clearly planned, socially scientific system of taking boys off the street and promoting their development towards a successful, productive future. This system formed the basis of the Boys & Girls Club environment. It is still in use today with proven results.

Boys & Girls Clubs of America believes that character development, the basic building block in personal development, should be an integral aspect of every Club program and activity. In support of this conviction, Aaron Fahringer, a regional director for the west coast in the 1950s, scripted the Boys & Girls Club Code as part of the celebration of the golden anniversary of the Movement. The code was adopted as official by the National Council in 1955, and was used extensively in the 50s and 60s. The Code is still displayed in many Clubs today.

(Learn more at:

According to experts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America has been praised for the broad reach of its programs. Boys & Girls Clubs of America provides positive activities for a very large number of youth in both urban and rural communities. They help connect youth with a strong positive network of adults. Read more expert reviews here to learn more about the impactful community enrichment work that Boys & Girls Clubs of America is leading.

Casey Family Programs: #3 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 21st, 2011

Ranked as the #3 nonprofit for at-risk youth advocacy, Casey Family Programs continues to be one of the nation’s most impactful foundations supporting youth advocacy for foster care children. Read below to find out why.

Casey Family Programs is the nation’s largest operating foundation focused entirely on foster care and improving the child welfare system. Founded in 1966, we work to provide and improve ─ and ultimately prevent the need for ─ foster care in the United States. As champions for change, we are committed to our 2020 Strategy for America’s Children – a goal to safely reduce the number of children in foster care and improve the lives of those who remain in care.

Since our founding in 1966, we have invested more than $1.6 billion in programs and services to benefit children and families in the child welfare system. Over the next decade, we will invest at least $1 billion more to fulfill the promise of our 2020 Strategy.

We have decades of front-line experience in foster care and are committed to helping states, counties and tribes implement effective child welfare practices. We provide nonpartisan research and technical expertise to child welfare system leaders, members of Congress and state legislators so they may craft laws and policies to better the lives of children in foster care, children at risk of entering the system and their families. The foundation, established by United Parcel Service founder Jim Casey, is based in Seattle.

(Learn more at:

As the largest endowed foundation supporting reform of U.S. foster care, Casey Family Programs has a great reach throughout the country. They also consult with other nonprofit and governmental organizations that provide services to at risk youth and their families on the best practice models. According to our experts, this organization has been incredible at changing the national dialogue around youth transferred into the adult court.  Their state-based advocacy work has also resulted in concrete on-the-ground changes in law and policy. Read more expert reviews here to learn about the great policy and advocacy work that Casey Family Programs supports.

YouthBuild USA: #4 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 20th, 2011

YouthBuild USA, the #4 expert-identified nonprofit, is playing a key role in facilitating employment and college opportunities for at-risk youth, learn more about this organization’s work below.

YouthBuild USA was started informally in 1988 and incorporated in 1990 to guide the process of replicating and scaling up the YouthBuild program with quality in the United States after the program had succeeded in five neighborhoods in New York City. There are now 273 YouthBuild programs in 45 states, Washington, DC, and the Virgin Islands. 92,000 YouthBuild students have built 19,000 units of affordable, increasingly green, housing since 1994.

Community- and faith-based nonprofit organizations sponsor most YouthBuild programs, many of which are led by social entrepreneurs who have started YouthBuild in their communities, just like Dorothy Stoneman, recipient of the 2007 Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship, started the first YouthBuild program in East Harlem in 1978.

(Learn more at:

According to experts, YouthBuild USA has had success at increasing postsecondary education and employment success of disconnected youth. They provide leadership development, youth development, and community development with a focus on rehabilitation of low-income housing for at-risk youth. Read more expert reviews here to find out more about how YouthBuild USA is impacting the lives of at-risk youth.

Girls Incorporated (Girls Inc.): #5 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 19th, 2011

Nonprofit #5, Girls Incorporated, is a national organization that strives to empower young women through research-based programs and other forms of advocacy. Read below to learn more about how Girls Inc. has evolved over the course of the organization’s long history.

Girls Incorporated is a nonprofit organization that inspires all girls to be strong, smart, and bold through a network of local organizations in the United States and Canada. With local roots dating to 1864 and national status in the U.S. since 1945, Girls Inc. responds to the changing needs of girls and their communities through research-based programs and advocacy that empower girls to reach their full potential and to understand, value, and assert their rights. In 2009, Girls Inc. reached over 900,000 girls through Girls Inc. affiliates, our website, and educational publications.

The Girls Inc. movement started in New England during the Industrial Revolution as a response to the needs of a new working class: young women who had migrated from rural communities in search of newly available job opportunities in textile mills and factories.

(Learn more at:

According to experts, Girls, Inc. has been effective in serving girls, primarily from low-income households, and supporting their positive development on multiple levels. The organization offers pregnancy prevention programs for at-risk youth as well as mentoring support. Read more expert reviews here to learn about the great work that Girls Inc. is doing.

Communities In Schools: #6 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 16th, 2011

The #6 at-risk youth nonprofit, as identified by our experts, is Communities In Schools. Read more to learn about this organization’s innovative model for addressing the issue of high dropout rates in US schools.

The story of Communities In Schools began in the 1970s, when Founder Bill Milliken, then a youth advocate in New York City, came up with the idea of bringing community resources inside a public school building – where they are accessible, coordinated and accountable.

In the span of a little more than 30 years, Communities In Schools has become the nation’s leading dropout prevention organization.  We have a unique model that positions a coordinator inside schools to assess needs and deliver necessary resources that remove barriers to success.

Our mission is to surround students with a community of support, empowering them to stay in school and achieve in life.

Our network is comprised of nearly 5,000 passionate professionals in 25 states and the District of Columbia.  We serve the most vulnerable students in the most dropout-prone school districts, nearly 1.3 million young people in more than 3,400 schools.

We are actively engaged with policy makers, school staff, parents and business partners to ensure that Communities In Schools’ services are extended to as many K-12 students as possible and that those students have access to college.

Independent research demonstrates that Communities In Schools is one of a very few organizations proven to keep students in school and the only one to document that it increases graduation rates. The study also shows that a higher percentage of students served by Communities In Schools reach proficiency in 4th-grade and 8th-grade reading and math.

(Learn more at:

According to experts, Communities In Schools has both effective programs and strong program evaluation. Evaluation studies show that students in Communities in Schools schools perform better academically and socially. Read more expert reviews here to learn about the great work that the Youth Law Center is doing.

Youth Law Center: #7 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 15th, 2011

Our #7 nonprofit, the Youth Law Center, is a law firm that focuses its efforts on protecting the rights of youth in contact with the juvenile justice/foster care systems, learn more about this nonprofit’s advocacy work.

The Youth Law Center is a public interest law firm that works to protect children in the nation’s foster care and juvenile justice systems from abuse and neglect, and to ensure that they receive the necessary support and services to become healthy and productive adults.  Since 1978 our lawyers have worked across the United States to reduce the use of out-of-home care and incarceration, to strengthen families, and to improve access to quality education, health and mental health care, and other supportive services.  Because of our work hundreds of thousands of children have enjoyed better treatment and improved living conditions and services that have helped them to grow into healthy productive adults.

(Learn more at:

According to experts, the Youth Law Center has been instrumental in addressing the policies and laws that undermine students in the juvenile justice and foster care system. Read more expert reviews here to learn about the great work that the Youth Law Center is doing.

Boys Town: #8 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 14th, 2011

Boys Town, the #8 nonprofit, is playing a key role in the mental rehabilitation and treatment of at-risk youth; learn more about their unique approach below.

Boys Town has been a national leader in the care and treatment of children since its founding more than 90 years ago by Father Edward Flanagan.

As one of the largest nonprofit, nonsectarian child and family care organizations in the country, Boys Town provides compassionate, research-proven treatment for behavioral, emotional and physical problems.

Each year Boys Town services and programs touch the lives of 1.6 million people. That includes direct care to nearly 121,000 children and families.

Under the leadership of Father Steven E. Boes, Boys Town’s focus is on implementing our unique Integrated Continuum of Care. The Continuum provides a tightly integrated spectrum of research-proven services based on the consistent delivery of the Boys Town Model℠.

(Learn more at:

According to our experts, Boys Town has effective programs and strong follow-up evaluation as well. Boys Town has conducted long-term outcome evaluation (a five-year study and a sixteen-year study) to assess the impact of their program.  Both studies revealed that youth maintained positive outcomes and used what they learned in the program long after they returned to their communities. Read more expert reviews here to learn about the great work that Boys Town is doing.

Campaign for Youth Justice: #9 Expert-Identified At-Risk Youth Nonprofit

September 13th, 2011

Ranked as the #9 nonprofit for at-risk youth advocacy, the Campaign for Youth Justice is a national organization that coordinates with local organizations to stop the incarceration of youth and to effect legislation related to juvenile sentencing. Read on to find out how the Campaign for Youth Justice is working towards their mission.

The Campaign for Youth Justice (CFYJ) is dedicated to ending the practice of trying, sentencing, and incarcerating youth under 18 in the adult criminal justice system.

The Campaign works in partnership with state-based campaigns in a number of states. We serve as a clearinghouse of information on youth prosecuted as adults and make our tools and resources available to those interested in learning and taking action on an issue that personally affects them.

We strongly believe that any movement must involve those who are most impacted by the laws and policies. Thus, we seek to empower those affected by encouraging them to use their voices and experiences to effect meaningful change.

(Learn more at:

According to our experts, the Campaign for Youth Justice has been incredible at changing the national dialogue around youth transferred into the adult court.  Their state-based advocacy work has also resulted in concrete on-the-ground changes in law and policy. They do an excellent job raising awareness about unjust practices where youth are tried as adults. Their research and advocacy on juvenile justice issues is credible and useful not only to policymakers, but to other advocates as well. Read more expert reviews here to learn more about how CFYJ is positively affecting the lives of people with disabilities.

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